The Baltimore Police Department has announced major command staff changes heading into the New Year.
"Maximizing our most valuable resource—our employees—and ensuring we have the best leadership teams in place to take on the challenges we face in 2013 is the impetus behind these moves," said Police Commissioner Anthony Batts, who was installed in his post a few months ago, in a news release.
The release reads that the changes are the start of efforts to improve policing with a strategic crime focus, improve intelligence gathering and sharing and a renewed commitment to proactive policing and community engagement.
According to the release, command shifts include the following:
- Addition of a Community Policing Division led by recently promoted Lt. Colonel Melvin Russell
- New Special Enforcement tangent of Patrol led by Lt. Colonel Ross Buzzuro and assisted by Major Clifton McWhite that will concentrate on gangs, guns and bringing stability to neighborhoods experiencing higher crime rates
- Garnell Green, formerly head of Homicides in the Criminal Investigations Division, was promoted to Colonel and will command the Patrol Division. Darryl De Sousa was promoted to Lt. Colonel and will oversee Area 1 command.
- Colonel Dean Palmere, formerly head of Patrol, will helm the Criminal Investigations Division from the retiring Colonel Jesse Oden
- Lieutenants Kim Burris, Osborne 'Moe' Robinson, Deron Garrity and Erik Pecha are being promoted to the rank of captain and second-in-command of districts.
- Captains Melissa Hyatt, Keith Matthews and Robert Smith have been promoted to major to take command of Central, Eastern and Western districts respectively.